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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 8,474

Journal Archives

Lukovich nails it again...

George Takei: Meanwhile in most of North America...

Wow! This Epic StopRush Response will Make Your Day

Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:42 PM PST
Wow! This Epic StopRush Response will Make Your Day
by ProgLegs

The "Rush" for the exits at Rush Limbaugh's new home in New York City--Clear Channel's WOR AM--continues, as advertisers who have long run ads on this radio station object to their brands suddenly being hitched to Limbaugh's hate wagon.

On Friday a Mexican-American StopRush volunteer contacted a WOR advertiser called Page Publishing to politely request that they not advertise on the Rush Limbaugh Show.

She specifically objected to Limbaugh's characterization of Mexicans as being lazy by nature.

The response she received will make your day:

I am the president of Page Publishing, and I could not agree with you more. He is a disgusting, misogynistic racist. We have been advertising with WOR for quite a while, but they only recently added this moron’s program to their lineup, and we were assured that our ads would not inadvertently run during his show. Thanks for pointing out that it did (I don’t have the stomach to listen to his show to verify if our ads do run). I will insist that our ads never run during his bigoted show. It amazes me that his show has any audience at all here in New York City- a progressive and liberal place if ever there was one (the place where I was born and raised, and a place that is amazing in its diversity).

Your email reached me because the staff here universally despises Limbaugh and everything he stands for, and they know of my feelings as well. The ironic things about most of the nonsense that he spews, in particular his references to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, is that there probably isn’t a harder working group of people in the nation right now.

He has the right to say what he wants, and we have the right to refuse to support him with our corporate advertising dollars.

Thanks for the email,

Stephen Matthews
President and CEO
Page Publishing, Inc.

Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Rush Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio. StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more. Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable. It is our collective voice that makes us strong.

Want to do something hold Limbaugh accountable?
Join StopRush! We can use your help in the following ways:

Join: The Flush Rush Facebook community
Visit: The StopRush sponsor database
Tweet: #stoprush Twitter campaign
Fact Check: Limbaugh Lie Debunking Site
Install: ThinkContext StopRush browser extension--notifies you as you browse which companies advertise on Rush


The World According to Some People's Brains


This kid thought his parents were about to break up...He was so wrong...

A poem: Can Santa Be Black?

Can Santa Be Black?
by B.J. Wrights

It happened in the kindergarten class,
Right at the table where they were having snack.
Joanie asked the question and they all sat back:
“Mr. Slater? Can Santa Claus be Black?”

Poor Mr. Slater didn’t know what to say,
Christmas vacation was twenty days away.
There were snowflakes to cut and wreaths to be hung,
Christmas cards to paint,
Christmas songs to be sung.

He hadn’t time to think
What Christmas was about,
In twenty more days,
School would be out.

Why couldn’t they wait
And ask their questions then,
When mommies and daddies
Were home to answer them?

Mr. Slater? Can Santa be thin?
“Is Santa Claus always a him?”

Mr. Slater looked at twenty pairs of eyes,
Twenty children of every shape and size.
He ate a bit of cracker and finished his drink.
“Children,” he said,
“I’ll need some time to think.”

As soon as class was over,
He ran down the hall,
Skidded ‘round a corner,
Crashed into a wall.
Ran up the steps to the second floor,
Rapped on the window of the principal’s door.

“Ms Frazer, Ms. Frazer, what can I do?
The children asked these questions
That now I ask of you:
‘Can Santa be black?’
‘Can Santa be thin?’
‘Does Santa always have to be a him?’”

“Mr. Slater, it’s a difficult task
To find answers to the questions you ask.
I think with these I’ll need some assistance,
But I’ll get you the answers with a little persistence.”

Ms. Frazer turned in her swivel chair,
Picked up the phone and dialed Mr. Dare
Mr. Dare was the head of the PTA,
He called for a meeting the very next day.

“Thank you for coming,”
He began with a greeting.
“I’d like to get right to the point of this meeting.
Mr. Slater, in charge of the kindergarten class,
Needs some answers to some questions
And he needs them real fast.”

“Can Santa be black?
Can Santa be thin?
Does Santa always have to be a him?”

The parents didn’t know what to say,
Christmas vacation was nineteen days away.
There were cookies to bake and lights to string,
Gifts to wrap and carols to sing.

They hadn’t time to think
What Christmas was about,
In nineteen more days
School would be out!
Why did children have to ask questions when
Parents had no time to answer them?

“Well Parents?
Are there any suggestions?
Do we have any answers
To these difficult questions?”

“Who know best
What Christmas is about?
Let’s ask Santa!”
Someone called out in a shout.

The secretary of the PTA
Sent a letter to Santa the very next day.
The reply came back very, very fast,
Addressed to Mr. Slater
And the kindergarten class.

* * *
Dear Mr. Slater, Dear Girls, Dear Boys,
Once a storywriter caught me bringing you toys.
The year he spied me opening my sack,
my skin was white, my boots were black.
You probably know how that story goes…

I laid a finger aside my nose?
All these years, needlessly,
that story worries children who don’t have a chimney.
All year long I listen to the news,
read people’s thought, see people’s views.
At the end of the year, when I see what’s needed most,
I take that shape, like a Christmas ghost.

I can pass through keyholes, windows and locks,
apartment buildings, hospitals, tents, and trailer lots.
One year I used a wheelchair in place of my sleigh,
Once I was blind and had to feel my way.
It’s hard to understand when I don’t leave a toy:
you can’t unwrap a gift like hope, or health or joy.
My skin has been black, white, yellow, red, brown;
my eyes have been slanted, crossed, and round.
Sometimes I have been a she:
all these things are part of me.
You may not believe all this is true,
but that’s okay, boys and girls, because…
I believe in you.

The Pope: When the glass is full

Pope Francis Reportedly Leaving Vatican at Night to Minister to Homeless of Rome Anonymously

Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 01:47 AM PST
Pope Francis Reportedly Leaving Vatican at Night to Minister to Homeless of Rome Anonymously
by markthshark

Frankly, I lost faith (so-to-speak) in all types of organized religion long ago. I have given up on expecting good deeds and magnanimous gestures toward the poor coming from the Vatican. But after hearing the unorthodox outreaches to those less fortunate in the world by Pope Francis, lately, I've been reconsidering the time-worn, idealistic notion that one man can indeed change the world.

I think Pope Francis truly has the potential to be a transformative pontiff.

We've all heard about his washing the feet of the poor, his warm, unsolicited embrace of a gravely disfigured man, and about a dozen other diverse attempts to reach out and help common people around the world. His declarative statements about income inequality and corporate greed are legion.

Well, the Pope Da MAN has struck again!

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the "Almoner of His Holiness," (a distributor of alms to the poor) recently gave an interview that "raised speculation that the Pope joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor." And apparently, there's a good chance that the rumors are true.

From the HuffPo.

A knowledgeable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women."

Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me," and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.

It's not surprising for the Pope to do things like this. As it turns out, in his prior life as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he often broke bread and sat for hours at night ministering to the downtrodden on the streets of his native Argentina.

Nocturnal wanderings for a pope are not completely unheard of. Pope John XIII is said to have occasionally popped out of the Vatican to appreciate the benighted beauty of Rome. And, reportedly, Pope Pius XII was said to shed his robes and dress as a Franciscan to help smuggle Rome's Jewish citizens to safety during WWII. More recently, Pope Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican unannounced to visit an art exhibit.

Like I said before, I have no use for organized religion. I don't need a church to feel spiritual. But if a holy man in a hierarchical position such as a pope can truly care, console, comfort, and ultimately inspire the least among us... I say that man is doing good work.

Works Jesus himself would be proud of.


California GOP creates fake health care website to discourage constituents from obtaining insurance

Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 04:55 PM PST
California GOP creates fake health care website to discourage constituents from obtaining insurance
by Hunter

Republicans are horrible people. Period.

California Republicans are desperate and shameless. In the past two weeks, GOP Assembly members have sent mailings out on what appears to be the state's dime to their constituents about health insurance. Only, they don't direct those people to CoveredCA.com to sign up. Instead, they send them to their own astroturf version with the url CoveringHealthCareCA.com.

On their version, there are links to negative articles and twisted messages intended to sour people on signing up for health insurance before they ever land at the official health exchange site.

A fake health care site. A fake health care site intended to discourage the people on their own mailing lists from getting health insurance because fuck them, that's why.

If you click on the "Don't have health insurance" tab on the front page, you're taken to a page that puts all the focus on the penalty and none on the benefits. In fact, they have a "penalty calculator" on that page, rather than a premium calculator.

Other bits of logic include explaining to young people that by getting insurance they'll be subsidizing sick people, the goddamn leeching bastards. (On the other hand, if you cannot grasp that the central point of all insurance is pooling a little money from a large group of people in order to insure some level of security for those people in the pool that have something very bad happen to them, including for example you, perhaps removing you from the gene pool is not entirely a bad thing. If you are so nasty a person that you can't live with the thought of insuring yourself because it means some other person might get healthcare using one one hundredth of a cent of your money, the world will certainly not be missing you much after you are gone. Godspeed!)

This is yet another of the reasons the current incarnation of the Republican Party is little more than a political oozing sore. There is probably a downside to trying to kill off your own voters to score a momentary political point, but let's just say the members of the party brain trust in my state could meet in a closet and still have enough room for the vacuum and boxes of Christmas decorations.


No thanks to Walmart

Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:00 AM PST
No thanks to Walmart
by Mark Sumner

I think we can all agree that 2010 wasn’t the best of years. After all, unemployment at midyear was still bordering on 10 percent, home foreclosures were at a record high, and profits per employee at US corporations only rose 24 percent. Now, go back and read that last one again. As it happens, U.S. corporations were on their way to record profits in 2010, raking in more money at the same time as they were cutting both staff and benefits.

Think that’s a fluke? Profits per employee jumped another 22 percent in 2011. That’s as layoffs reached record heights and 312,000 jobs were eliminated. The year 2011 also marked another record year of profits for U.S. companies. Not only did Fortune 500 corporations pocket a record $824.5 billion, they generated earnings at a rate 23 percent percent higher than the historical average. By the end of that year, Apple alone had $76 billion in the bank, after generating a profit amounting to half a million dollars per employee.

Tell me again that this was a hard year. The economy is bad only in that we've allowed the economy of corporations and the economy of real, living human beings to become totally disconnected.

It’s one thing to say that middle class wages are stagnant while those of the top 1 percent are continuously growing, but there’s a deeper, more fundamental flaw in our current notion of capitalism: Everyone understands that profit is good, but no one seems to understand what profit is for. We’ve constructed a set of standard practices that would not only make Gordon Gekko blush, they’re self-destructive. American capitalism is profiting itself to death.

Few companies are as emblematic of the New American System as is Walmart. The company that in 2011 generated more revenues than any other, the company that is now the largest food retailer in the world is the same company that recently encouraged donations of food to its own employees. It’s also a company that, putting aside any losses generated when it replaces smaller, local stores, causes a net loss to every community it enters in the form of increased tax revenues needed to support the underpaid employees. Walnart not only counts on taxpayer dollars to subsidize its “low cost” stores, it counts on that same taxpayer dollars to drive its business. Walmart employees not only need food stamps to get by, Walmart is the largest place where those food stamps are redeemed. It’s a cycle that grinds employees (and communities) relentlessly down, while driving Walmart revenues just as consistently up.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way.

While Walmart may be the corporate expression of the darkest timeline, Costco shows that it’s not required to be a corporate ass to be profitable. Costco workers start at a salary of over $11 an hour—a modest amount, certainly, but an amount that most Walmart employee never attain even after years of labor. The average Costco worker makes almost twice that amount on an hourly basis, and Costco workers also tend to work normal work weeks, with all the benefits that implies, rather than the truncated working hours Walmart imposes to keep employees just shy of such extravagances as health care or paid leave. Costco executives also make a much more reasonable sum compared to the corporate profits. Put it all together, and the CEO of Costco makes as much as 48 workers earning the median wage—a rate that’s high by historical standards, but downright Spartan compared to the situation at Walmart where the (a shameful rate that is closely matched by the 645 employees it would take to reach the pay awarded the CEO of Target).

Walmart's unending quest to inflate its profit by any means is such that it scrambles to find elaborate schemes to deny the wages promised to workers who sacrifice their holidays to the corporate coffers.

The most shameful thing out of all these numbers may be this: Walmart could quite easily afford to pay its workers a living wage. It could do so without threatening its ability to operate. It could do so without slowing its relentless expansion. It could do so without residing its prices one dime. Walmart has ample ability to pay its workers more, because it's not just profitable, it's massively profitable.

If Walmart were to pay all of its employees a living wage—not a poverty rate, but something more like the $45k average that Costco workers earn—if it did that, Walmart's corporate profits would have declined last year from $17 billion, to a mere $12.5 billion.

But this isn't just a Walmart story, it's an American story. Not so long ago, American corporations accepted the idea that they had obligations to their stockholders, but also to their workers and the communities where they did business. They understood that profit was a tool, a fuel that powered the corporation to achieve its goals. But now profit is the goal. It's been fetishized beyond all reason. Many people will even tell you that there's a law requiring companies to generate as much profit as possible. There is no such law. There never was. And the only thing more insane than believing that such a harmful law might exist, is that many seem to think it's a good idea.

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